Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh, deer! ( Ohio still CWD free)

Once again Ohio's white-tail deer herd has dodged the disease bullet.

The testing of 571 samples from deer shot by Ohio hunters revealed none were tainted by either chronic wasting disease (CWD) nor bovine tuberculosis. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Ohio Division of Wildlife has tested for CWD and no evidence of it has yet to be detected.

However, CWD has been documented in 15 other states, thus the need to annually test for the degenerative brain disorder here in Ohio.

The Wildlife Division is also testing for CWD in a number of road-killed deer though the results are not yet known.

All testing was and is being done by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

Should CWD ever be detected in Ohio it would be likely that the state would ban baiting for deer. That is because CWD is transmitted from saliva from one deer to another and the feeding of deer poses the increased likelihood of contamination, scientists say.

In other Wildlife Division news, the agency has put forth its 2010-2011 hunting regulations, minus those for migratory birds as well as deer.

Except for the annual shifting of dates there are only the most minor of changes. The proposals for the deer hunting will come in a few weeks following the conclusion of this year's archery deer hunting season.

March 6 is the date for the agency's various district game law hearings with the statewide hearing set for March 4 in Columbus.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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